The Moment Weiner Was Waiting For

"I love him. I have forgiven him. I believe in him," the mayoral candidate's wife said, as he confronted new allegations he'd warned were coming.
Huma Abedin, standing by her man. (Garance Franke-Ruta)

NEW YORK -- There was no question but that they were prepared. Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin approached the podium calmly. He looked tan and resolved. He had done this before. Stood there teary-eyed and sniffling before the baying New York press corps to talk about his mistakes. His marriage. The hurt he had caused his wife.

This time he was ready, steadier. On the other side of that moment of uncontrollable emotional crisis, so apparent at the then-congressman's excruciating 2011 press conference in which he admitted to sexual chats and image sharing with multiple strange women online.

"Good afternoon. My name is Anthony Weiner, Democratic candidate for mayor of the City of New York. I have said that other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have," Weiner said Tuesday. It was a hastily called press conference in an unused office space at GMHC before a mayoral candidates forum on HIV/AIDS.

Earlier in the day the site The Dirty published new sexy chats and graphic images allegedly sent by Weiner under the pseudonym Carlos Danger.

"As I've said in the past, these things I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and have caused us to go through many challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress," he continued. "While some of the things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there's no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me. I have apologized to my wife Huma and I am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and that I have her forgiveness." Weiner also apologized "to anyone who has been on the receiving end of one of these messages."

"With 49 days left to primary day, perhaps I'm surprised more things did not come out sooner," he said. "In many ways things are not much different than they were yesterday."

Abedin, meanwhile, looked exactly like what she was: a careful, shy person of refined sensibility who is used to being the person behind the scene, facing for the first time 13 cameras and more than 70 reporters to talk about the state of her marriage and the graphic sexual images and messages her husband had sent other women during it.

They both had prepared remarks. He took questions. She did not. She cast her eyes about, trying to find a comfortable place to look as he spoke -- up, down, to the side. At times she smiled.

Like her husband, Abedin is a political professional. A person who has made her career and also her life with people who live at the center of constant public media storms. She knew what she was signing up for when they decided to take on the mayoral race together, she said.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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